Tiger country

FIRST light drifts through the blinds and paints me tiger-striped. I am between awake and dreaming, drifting on a plain where anything might be. These moments are mine, and I clutch them like secrets. They hold a freshness of things beginning again, of time bleached clean of yesterday's choices, its twistings and turnings, its mundane and necessary pursuits. For now, there is no traffic jam. No stream of hurried feet through spinning doors and ringing phones and endless paper changing hands. No rote preparations for obligatory meals that I have offered up a hundred times.

Because it is Sunday and I need not wake yet, I turn to bury myself in the quiet country of waist and hip, and sense, vaguely, as if through gauze, that you have left to meet the day. Unconsciously, I touch the gold band that links us.

I lift my head slightly and return to tiger country, where morning sifts down through the trees, patterning my coat with overlapping leaves. And as I stretch within its branches, I hear the sounds of morning taking shape around me.

There is the occasional motor of a passing car. High-pitched laughter and the clacking of small feet in hard Sunday shoes. And there is Jobie, risen from the empty corner lot, dragging himself along, serenading the arrival of another day ... REASONS ... THE REASONS THAT I FEEL....

The smell of coffee pulls me from my half-waking state, and I cross into this day, easy, leaving tiger country for a time.

It is Sunday, and I rise to join the stirrings of my urban plain.

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